New novel Bleak City – set in post-EQ Christchurch

Press Release – Taylfin Publishing

Press Release: Taylfin Publishing

For immediate release: 31 August 2016

Book website:

Bleak City

After a Natural Disaster Comes the Manmade Tragedy

Just in time for the sixth anniversary of the September 2010 Christchurch earthquake, a new novel tells the story of a family living through the Canterbury earthquake sequence. Bleak City follows the life of a young woman, Alice Moorhouse, as she and her family cope with life from the time of the quakes to the present day. It asks the question ‘who do you want to be, when life is unjust and unfair?’ Although titled Bleak City, it does not see a bleak future for Christchurch, but it does acknowledge that post-quake life is a struggle for many people.

The ongoing problems being experienced by the people of Christchurch inspired Marisa Taylor to tell this story of loss, frustration, anger and disappointment balanced with the tale of a family that draws closer together as events unfold. Although it tells the story of the Christchurch earthquakes, people are at the heart of Bleak City, because it’s people who matter, not buildings, not bottom lines.

This is the tagline and blurb for Bleak City:


Alice Moorhouse is beginning to find her way as a young woman when her life is disrupted by a series of earthquakes. As she and her family deal with the physical and emotional toll of living in a broken city, their recovery is confounded by greedy insurers determined to protect their profits, bumbling bureaucrats unable to coordinate their efforts and uncaring politicians determined to spin the recovery for their own ends. How does Alice build a life in a devastated city and discover who she really is?

Author Bio

Marisa Taylor was born in Dunedin and lived there and in Wellington before moving to the United States as a six-year-old. She returned in 1986, and has lived in Christchurch for the whole of her adult life. She began writing Bleak City as a way of making sense of all the stories she was seeing and hearing around her as the city tried to recover from the 2010/2011 earthquakes. She hopes she has captured some of what it is like to live through a natural disaster in the modern world and to experience the problems created by man’s inhumanity to man.


Publisher: Taylfin Publishing. ISBN: 978-0-473-36341-3

Available from independent book stores for $34.95 incl GST: Christchurch: Scorpio Books, Smiths Bookshop, Piccadilly Books; Wellington: Unity Books; Auckland: Matakana Village Books, Poppies Remuera; New Plymouth: Poppies New Plymouth. Other book stores will stock on request.

Also available at XCHC Exchange Christchurch (376 Wilsons Road) and St Martins New World.

Available online at in paperback and as an eBook.

Read an excerpt at

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